The Top Video Camera Under $1000 for Professional Filming in Review
Whether you’re an experienced videographer or are new to recording, you know that finding the best video camera under $1000 can be tough. While purchasing cameras can definitely be expensive, there are some great cameras out there that are capable of capturing truly stunning footage. If you are looking for a cheaper Video Camera click here for the review. Top brand names like Sony, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and Fujifilm all offer some great cameras with very impressive recording ability.
Table of Contents
- Best Video Camera under $1000
- How Do I Use a Digital Camera for Video?
- What Video Camera is Best for YouTube?
- Can You Record Video with a DSLR?
- How Do I Connect My DSLR to My Laptop?
- What Video Camera is Ideal for Outdoor Use?
- What to Look for When Buying a Video Camera?
But with factors like price, performance, specs, and features, how can you possibly make a decision? To help you, we’ve put together our list of the 10 best film cameras under $1,000. After reading through our list, you’ll be able to decide which camera is right for you.
Best Video Camera under $1000
|Picture||Video Camera under $1000||Video Capture Resolution||Continuous Shooting Speed||Extended ISO|
|Sony Alpha a6000||1920 x 1080p||11 fps||25600|
|Fujifilm X-T20 XC16-50mm Kit||3840 x 2160p||14 fps||51200|
|Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX10K||3840 x 2160p||10 fps||25600|
|Canon EOS 70D||1920 x 1080p||7 fps||25600|
|Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V||3840 x 2160p||24 fps||12800|
|Canon EOS Rebel T6i Digital SLR||1920 x 1080p||5 fps||25600|
|Sony Alpha a6300 (Body Only)||3840 x 2160p||11 fps||51200|
|PANASONIC LUMIX G7 4K||3840 x 2160p||8 fps||25600|
|Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II||1920 x 1080p||8 fps||25600|
|D5600 DX-format Digital SLR||1920 x 1080p||5 fps||25600|
|PANASONIC LUMIX G85 4K||3840 x 2160p||10 fps||25600|
Buyers Guide Questions
How Do I Use a Digital Camera for Video?
Up until a few years ago, your only option if you wanted to record high-quality films was to use a camcorder because cameras designed for still photography just couldn’t match the performance delivered by these cameras. But over the last few years, technology has advanced and movie capture has become a staple in even the most basic digital camera. Today, there are several point-and-shoot, DSLR, and mirrorless cameras on the market that even offer stunning 4K video recording ability and are still priced at under $1,000.
These cameras allow you to enjoy the benefits of exceptional still and video photography in one device. To film, all you have to do is set your camera to the movie capture setting and press the shutter. But to produce the best possible results, there are some tips to keep in mind when filming with one of these digital cameras.
Many of the more expensive cameras on the market have a high ISO range and a large sensor for improved light capture. This allows them to record in even low-light conditions. But if you are working with a smaller compact model that has lower ISO or a smaller image sensor, it’s advised to shoot video in plenty of light in order to avoid noise and distortion in your images.
Framing Your Shot
When shooting, try to leave ample space above the head of your subject. This helps to ensure that it doesn’t look like your subject is touching the upper part of the screen in playback. Also, since the shakiest movements are when you are starting and ending your shot, try to bookend your segment by beginning your shot a few seconds earlier than needed and ending it a few seconds later. This will allow you to edit out the shaky portions of your film without losing your intended content.
Stabilization allows your camera to compensate for camera and external movement, allowing for a smoother finished product. If your camera has IS, set it to continuous IS mode while filming for optimum stability. And if you are planning on taking long, continuous pans or camera movements, consider investing in a camera slider or tripod. These tools will allow you to make fluid movements with professional smoothness.
Another aspect of keeping your film steady is to pay attention to your zoom. If your camera offers zoom, don’t overuse the feature because the results can be very jarring during playback. And if you are using the zoom, do so in a smooth, control speed.
One final aspect to consider is the exposure transition that occurs in your camera when you move from a dark area of your scene to a lighter one, or vice versa. Your camera will adjust to this difference in lighting automatically but unless you give it time to compensate for this light change, the results can be some distortion. To compensate for this, move your camera slowly when you are switching to another area of a scene so that the transition comes across more naturally.
What Video Camera is Best for YouTube?
One of the top options out there for producing stunning YouTube content is the Fujifilm X-T20. A more affordable version of the brand’s flagship X-T2, this mirrorless camera is simply one of the best options priced under $1,000 and is ideal for YouTubers of any experience level. The X-T20 uses the same 23.4MP APS-C image sensor and X-Processor Pro image processor as the X-T2, so it offers the same impressive video hardware as its pricier cousin.
And with an incredibly fast and accurate autofocus system, it offers a bunch of tracking modes that allow it to smoothly lock onto any fast-moving subject with ease. For control, the X-T20 offers two modes, Auto and Control. These allow you to simply record video at the push of a button or adjust exposure settings such as focus, exposure compensation, and aperture while you are shooting, just like you could with a bulkier DSLR. With amazing video capabilities, this model can record stunning cinema-quality 4K at 30, 25, or 24 fps and Full HD 1080p at a smooth 60 fps.
And since this device was designed with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, you can operate it through your smartphone with the Fujifilm Camera Remote App and instantly upload content to your phone or tablet for easy posting on YouTube. An added bonus is the fact that this powerhouse video shooter is weather-sealed. This means that you can bring this compact, lightweight model anywhere and shoot in any weather condition. So whatever type of content you provide on your channel, the X-T20 has you covered.
Can You Record Video with a DSLR?
You might be wondering if you could record video with a DSLR camera. Years ago, these models were only suitable for quick movie clips and still photography. But with the technological advances that have been made over the past few years, many of these versatile cameras are now capable of shooting high-quality 4K or Full HD film on par with what you can expect from a camcorder.
With large sensors, powerful image processors, and impressive AF and image stabilization systems, you can now count on reliable models like the Canon EOS 70D, Canon Rebel T6i, and Nikon D5600 to create stunning cinema-quality video easily. In fact, the Canon EOS 70D has quickly become the preferred model for many of the world’s top vloggers and filmmakers.
How Do I Connect My DSLR to My Laptop?
While many DSLRs offer Wi-Fi or NFC connectivity, these tools are mostly used to connect your photographic device to either a smartphone or tablet, not a laptop. While this is perfect for most users, sometimes you might want to connect your DSLR directly to your laptop. By connecting your camera to your PC, you can use it as a webcam, view your live feed directly on your laptop’s screen, instantly save your images and films to your computer, and even operate your DSLR through your computer’s controls.
To connect your DSLR to your laptop, you simply need a USB cable. Most cameras will come with a micro USB to regular USB wire. Simply connect the two devices with this wire and then access your camera through a software program like Adobe Lightroom. This will allow you to see what you are shooting, perform post-shot edits, and save your work directly to your PC.
What Video Camera is Ideal for Outdoor Use?
If you’re planning on filming outdoors, then you want a powerful camera that is easy to carry, can withstand the elements, and delivers impressive video quality in a variety of lighting conditions. The Sony Alpha a6300 is one of the top mirrorless models on the market and scores high marks in all of these categories. A 24.2MP sensor and ISO range to 512008 means that this powerhouse can deliver exceptional image quality in practically any lighting condition.
It shoots true-to-life, highly-detailed 4K video and has the world’s fastest AF speed, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot. Since it’s a mirrorless model, it’s significantly lighter and more compact than bulky DSLR cameras. And, thanks to its weather-sealed body, it can be used in any weather condition. With high performance, exceptional image quality, a durable build, and incredible low-light performance, the a6300 is simply the smartest purchase for anyone interested in shooting in the great outdoors.
What to Look for When Buying a Video Camera?
Cameras are like cars. There are tons of different makes and models out there with a variety of different performance capabilities and features. Choosing the best one can be confusing. While you can’t go wrong with purchasing any of the models featured in our list of the 10 best film cameras under $1,000, choosing between them can still be tough. When looking at the options, the smartest move is to consider the following 5 factors.
Megapixels, or MP, are simply a way to measure the resolution that a camera provides. The higher the number, the larger the size of a high quality print you can make. For instance, an 8MP camera can make high-resolution prints measuring up to 8×10 inch while 12×18 inch prints would require a 20MP model. While this is an important factor in choosing a device, it’s not the most important one. You can still make great stills and recordings with a model offering a lower MP size.
It’s important to balance the megapixels that the model you are looking at offers with other important factors like its autofocus (AF) speed and accuracy, its ISO range, and its image stabilization (IS) system. For the average videographer, any model boasting between 16 to 24MP is more than capable of delivering impressive results.
You don’t want to be shooting film without actually being able to see your shot. This is where screens come in. This feature allows you to frame your shot precisely and, thanks to the LCD touchscreens offered with many models, adjust settings and focal points simply by touching the screen. And since the screen acts as a viewfinder, it allows you to see what you’re filming in conditions where you can’t look through a physical viewfinder.
But a tiny screen isn’t going to allow you to perform these functions easily. A small LCD screen will be tough to see and even more difficult to navigate. Because of this, the perfect size for most filmmakers is going to be a screen that measures at least 3”.
Zooms allow you to get closer to a distant subject. One thing to keep in mind is that some models mention two types of zooms, optical and digital. These are very different functions.
A digital zoom is simply when your camera enlarges the pixels in a shot, making the subject larger. Unfortunately, since a digital zoom is just an enlargement, the image you capture will be grainer and more pixelated. An optical zoom actually uses the lens of the camera to “zoom in” on a subject. This allows for clearer images without the excessive pixilation caused by digital zooms.
Most cameras featuring optical zoom will offer a zoom length of at least 3x. This means that the lens will make your subject at least 3x’s as big. Other high-end zooms offer up to 12x Optical Zoom but these models are going to be much more expensive. The perfect model for most people looking to film with an adequate zoom is one which offers a minimum length of 3x. If you’re interested in a higher zoom capacity, your smartest move is to purchase a mirrorless or DSLR model that allows you to purchase a more powerful zoom lens down the road.
Video Capture Resolution
You’re planning on capturing video so one of the most important aspects to consider is the resolution the model that you’re looking at offers. Almost any point-and-shoot, DSLR, or mirrorless model can now capture Full HD (High Definition – see NASA examples) video in 1080p. This resolution provides sharp picture quality that is perfectly suitable for the average user. For people interested in capturing the sharpest video quality possible, more advanced models offer 4K video recording.
The resolution offered with this format is incredibly detailed, vivid, and is actually four times the resolution offered by 1080p. If you’re a casual user looking to record family gatherings or various social events, then a camera that records at Full HD is more than capable of delivering the high-quality you’re looking for. But if you’re a professional or someone who desires to produce the sharpest footage possible, the right move would be to purchase a model that can record 4K videos.
Weight is something that many people don’t consider when purchasing a video camera but it’s a critical factor. If you’re a hobbyist or plan on taking your camera everywhere you go, purchasing one that is incredibly heavy and difficult to hold for long periods of time can be frustrating. But since most cameras in a given class weigh about the same, you can easily decide which is right for you. Point-and-shoot models are normally the lightest and most compact around.
They might not offer the same image quality of heavier DSLR or mirrorless devices but they can fit in a pocket easily and usually weigh around 1 pound. DSLR cameras are the bulkiest models on the market. These cameras are incredibly versatile and are favored by many pros because of their image quality and exceptional performance. But the downside is that they are heavy and large, meaning that carrying them for extended periods of time is going to weigh you down.
Mirrorless models are capable of delivering performance and image quality that is similar to what you can get from a DSLR but at a fraction of the weight. They are compact enough to carry easily but have larger sensors and better image quality than most comparable point-and-shoots. The main thing to consider when thinking about weight is what kind of projects you’ll be using your video camera for.
If you’re traveling, taking home videos for personal and family enjoyment, or even sharing your content on social media, then a powerful, lightweight travel point-and-shoot is a great idea. If you are looking for true professional quality and don’t mind the excess weight, you can’t go wrong with a high-performance DSLR. And if you want professional results but still need an easy-to-carry model, then a mirrorless device is a great way to go.
Out of the video cameras under $1,000 featured in our review, our recommendation for the top pick on the market today is the Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless camera. Compact and incredibly lightweight, this easy-to-use model delivers sharp, smooth Full HD videos without the bulk of a DSLR.
With an impressive hybrid AF system, the a6000 is quick to lock onto a subject and its internal stabilization helps make sure that your videos are crisp and clear. With a 3” LCD screen and electronic viewfinder, you can frame each shot like a pro and when you’re done, simply put this camera in your pocket.
If you are looking for a compact device that delivers high-quality images and can record fast action scenes, this is the perfect model for you. And at just under $550, it’s one of the best deals out there today.
At just under $900, the Fujifilm X-T20 is one of the most expensive cameras for recording videos that was featured in our review but it’s also one of the best models in its class. With an exceptional design, stunning image quality, and impressive features, it’s our recommendation for top premium choice of 2017. This mirrorless model offers a large 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor and the X-Processor Pro, allowing it to produce truly amazing cinema-quality 4K video in any lighting situation.
With a great automatic mode, it’s remarkable easy to use but also features a Control Mode that allows more experienced photographers to manually adjust their exposure settings like they would with a DSLR. The ability to use X Mount lenses opens up this device to a variety of shooting conditions. Film Simulation Mode lets you change the appearance of your videos with ease.
And a great touchscreen panel and electronic viewfinder help you navigate camera options and perfectly frame your shot. While it might cost more than some other models highlighted in our list of models under $1,000, the X-T20 is perfect for anyone seeking the performance of a DSLR in a lightweight, compact body.
If you’re looking for a great value under $1,000, our recommendation is the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX10K. You wouldn’t expect much from a point-and-shoot camera but this compact digital workhorse can stand toe-to-toe with a lot of the mirrorless and DSLR models that you’ll find on the shelves.
Its 20MP sensor is great at capturing light and delivering highly-detailed images and, thanks to its F/1.4-2.8 lens, it lends a stunning defocus background effect in your scenes. The ability to record 4K Ultra HD (click to read study) video is a welcome addition to this affordable model, allowing you to produce exceptionally clear, vivid films at up to 120 fps.
4K Live Cropping lets you frame your shot as your work and a lens-mounted control ring lets your adjust manual exposure settings like you would with a bulkier DSLR model. At just under $600, it’s one of the best bargains on the market in 2017.